Budget 2020: Focus on Health and Environment sees charities left on the shelf

Published by Susan Robinson on 11 March 2020

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It’s perhaps unsurprising that in the current climate, the 2020 Budget announcement for the most part overlooked charities.  Despite recent calls to include charities in the government strategy to tackle emerging issues, there was only one mention of charities throughout the budget, with much of the focus being on Coronavirus measures and environmental incentives.

There were some minor wins for charities, such as the employment allowance increasing from £3,000 per annum to £4,000 and the announcement that from 1 December, digital publications will be free of VAT in order to encourage charities to embrace technology. There was also the announcement that the retail discount on business rates will be extended to 100% which will help those charities with charity shops.

There will be further plans for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, but this will not be until the Autumn.

There is continued support for increasing the National Minimum Wage, but no plans of support for increased funding to pay for the increase in costs to charities that this would cause.

The government will provide Local Authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. However the government expects that most of this funding will be used to provide more council tax relief.

The government is committed to ending rough sleeping in this parliament, with £643 million for accommodation and support services to help people off the streets and to start rebuilding their lives.

Charities will perhaps be feeling slightly forgotten in this budget, particularly as they continue to be on the frontline, delivering much needed services under strain.  In spite of this, as the country braces itself for a potentially turbulent few months, there’s no doubt that charities, the often forgotten institution, will go about providing their ongoing unwavering support to beneficiaries.

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